Social Informatics: Past, present and future

The 8th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium (ASIST SIG SI)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 8:30-12:45 PM (Baltimore)

The purpose of this ASIS&T post-conference research symposium is to disseminate and discuss current research and research in progress that investigate the social aspects of information and communication technologies (ICT) across all areas of ASIS&T. Building on the success of past years, the symposium includes members of many SIGs and defines “social” broadly to include critical and historical approaches as well as contemporary social analysis. It also defines “technology” broadly to include traditional technologies  (i.e., paper), state-of-the-art computer systems, and mobile and pervasive devices. Submissions may include empirical, critical and theoretical work, as well as richly described practice cases and demonstrations. 

This year’s conference theme is “Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present, and Creating the Future.” In keeping with this theme, the 8th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium is soliciting work that focuses on the past, present and future contributions and challenges in social informatics – using the rear view mirror to navigate the present and guide us into the future. According to Horton, Davenport, and Wood-Harper (2005; 52) “the impetus for researchers to consider both social and technical aspects as mutually constitutive as a means of understanding technology introduction and use has a growing audience.” What can we learn from the history of social informatics? What are the forces currently shaping the field? In what theoretical and empirical directions is social informatics moving? 

We are particularly interested in work that assumes a critical stance towards the interplay between people’s uses of information and ICT in society and in the workplace. Critical analyses are useful because they “bring into question established social assumptions and values regarding information and … ICTs and established understandings of  ‘information,’ particularly as they play themselves out and are institutionalized in social and professional discourses and professional training.” (Day, 2007; 575). 

We encourage all scholars interested in social aspects of ICT (broadly defined) to share their research and research in progress by submitting an extended abstract of their work and attending the symposium. This year we will solicit papers, panels, and posters.

The schedule for the workshop will involve the presentations of papers and the best social informatics paper awards for 2011. This will be followed by a panel that will discuss the past, present, and future of social informatics. We expect an engaging discussion with lively interactions with the audience.



August 15, 2012: Submit a short paper (2000 words), a poster (500 words), or a panel (1000 words).

September 7, 2012: Author notifications (in time for conference early registration (NOTE: this timeline may be adjusted when the registration dates are announced)).




Members $95 – early registration ($110 after early registration ends)

Non-members $105 – early registration ($120 after early registration ends)


Organizers (to whom papers and posters should be sent and questions addressed):

Howard Rosenbaum, School of Library and Information Science -Indiana University (

Pnina Fichman, School of Library and Information Science -Indiana University (

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